Hundreds of High School Students from Pennsylvania’s Perkiomen Valley School District walked out of their classrooms on Friday to protest their district’s decision to allow transgenders to use bathrooms corresponding with their chosen identity.
The school previously made the decision to reject an initiative which would have mandated use of the district’s bathrooms according to biological sex, which came about after a local father reported that his daughter was traumatized after encountering a transgender (a biological male) using the women’s restroom at her school.
The Perkiomen Valley School Board refused to pass the initiative on September 11. In part, the school board justified its refusal to implement the policy on grounds that gender identity is allegedly a protected class under the anti-discrimination Policy 103. Current and former trans students who alleged that they “have to feel scared in a place that promotes supportiveness for kids.” Evidently, the feelings of fear of girls encountering biological males in the bathroom was a non-factor in the decision.
Furious at the failure to pass the policy, the students decided to take matters into their own hands. Student John Ott organized the walkout, feeling compelled to do so on account of the anxiety of girls in his class who “were upset. They didn’t want men in their bathroom.”
According to the school board president, around “300+ students” ultimately took part in the walkout to “voice their opinion in favor of the policy” which will restrict bathroom use to biological sex.
Despite the exceptional display of disapproval for the school’s refusal to respect the concerns of its students and their parents, at least some of the protestors are not confident that the school district will act in response to their walkout. Brandon Emery, one of the students who participated in the walkout, stated that the school is giving him the impression that “students’ rights are now compromised and not a priority to this school whatsoever.”
There may yet be some action taken by the school district in response to the students’ complaints. This week, school board member Don Fountain, who was one of the board members who voted against mandating bathroom use on a biological basis, offered a compromise position of a creating a third category of bathrooms which people of all genders would be able to use. Fountain believes that this approach would ensure “both [sides] have gotten something, not all.” This suggestion has also been met with derision, with one parent quipping “they’re going to, what, moderate how they sexualize your kids? Come on.”
It appears that the only degree to which the Perkiomen Valley School District will concede on this issue is the degree to which they are still allowed to subject children to grooming.